Now that it’s Spring its only a matter of time before we have our share of rainy days. Makes the most of them with this fun classroom game: The Human Rainstorm!
The show must go on! Rain or Shine! (or snow is seems) Spring weather is crazy and definitely worth talking about at some point in your class. PYP age students are so interested in the world around them and with such constant & dynamic changes it’s sure to hold their interest. As much as I’ve advocated going outside (HERE) sometimes you have to stay in your classroom for what can seem like an eternity. Break up the monotony with some fun and physical activities.
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The Human Rainstorm
The center of this lesson is the activity “The Human Rainstorm” which everyone has done at some point whether as a students or a teacher. Still it’s always a hit, even if a class has done it in the past. Its important to take your time explaining and modeling the activity though if you want it to sounds just right.
I like to start by discussing Vivaldi’s famous piece “Four Seasons” and having students label the seasons while looking at a picture. (Activating that prior knowledge is important) After that we listen to a short excerpt from the piece entitled “Spring” and try to guess which season it might sound like. If you set up the listening correctly they all should guess spring, then you can re-listen to it and discuss how the strings sound like growing flowers, fluttering butterflies, and chirping birds.
As we all know Spring isn’t all flowers and sun though, and the rains are sure to come. I usually prep the activity by having students watch a video of a choir doing their version of The Human Rainstorm, very nice and professionally done. It’s really cool and the kids will love it. We watch it twice. The first time, we listen only, holding students to this expectation is important so they can actually focus on the sounds and the actions. The second viewing I allow students to mimic the actions and copy along. After that we move to the carpet, and do the activity ourselves, usually I’ve found 3 times is the limit. If you’re struggling with a few students consider making them “student leaders” to stand in front of the class and model; or appoint other more reliable students to be your leaders while you deal with any classroom issues.
I love this activity because it not only has students listening and performing but does so much more. The ties to science are obvious, but it also promotes team building as well as the development of gross-motor skills!
Here’s a copy of my instructions and video of my Kindy’s Human Rainstorm
How can you integrate this into your class? Well for starters anytime you’re talking about weather in science or if you’re looking for a team building activity for a morning meeting this is a great lesson! Even a PE teacher who is looking for a rainy day activity will love the usage of gross motor skills!